How to Apply
MFA applications is December 1.
Applications are accepted
for fall semester admission only.
Please direct any questions regarding
graduate Creative Writing to
Each year, the MFA program accepts up to 12 students total in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction. We expect to notify all applicants of our admissions decision by the end of February. To apply to the Creative Writing Program, you must complete the ApplyYourself online application, uploading the materials described below. As part of the application, you will be asked to choose a subfield or genre and to calculate your English GPA.
- Online application: This will be submitted via the ApplyYourself website. Please note that the English Department is unable to waive application fees.
- Statement of purpose: The statement of purpose for MFA applicants should be a personal/literary essay of no more than 1000 words (between 2–4 double-spaced pages) that will give the admissions committee a sense of who you are and why you are applying to the program.
- Transcripts: Your unofficial transcript from each college or university that you have attended is required. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English.
- Creative writing sample: For the MFA, your sample should be a substantial example of your creative work. The page limit for poetry is 12–15 pages, single-spaced. The page limit for prose is 25 pages. You may submit more than one story or a novel excerpt for fiction, or more than one nonfiction piece, but the total amount of pages may not exceed 25. You should submit your best work, even if that amounts to fewer than 25 pages.
- Letters of recommendation: MFA applicants may ask TAs for recommendations, as well as employers or literary mentors. Files with fewer than three letters will still be reviewed; however, your chances for admission may be adversely affected. You may submit your application and pay the fee before your letters of recommendation have been received. Recommenders can upload letters after December 1, as long as they are uploaded by December 7. There are no exceptions to this.
- Program "smart form": This is found in the Department/Program Forms section of the application.
- Resume or CV: Upload this in the "Program Supplementary Information" section of the online application, under "Resume/CV."
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: We recommend, but do not require, GRE General Test scores. Outstanding scores on the Verbal test may be used as a basis for norminating admitted students for additional fellowships. The absence of GRE scores will not adversely affect your application, however.
Please have your GRE results sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University. The University of Minnesota institution code is 6874. The department code is 2503. You will also enter your GRE scores on the ApplyYourself application.
- TOEFL or other English language examinations: Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from one of the following English proficiency examinations:
Examination Minimum Score TOEFL 620 (paper based) or 105 (Internet based) MELAB 88 IELTS 7.5
Students whose native language is not English who have taken a minimum of one year of recent coursework at an English language university in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand may not have to submit English examination scores. In this case, they would need to take the GRE General Exam.
- Diversity Statement: The Office for Diversity in Graduate Education administers the DOVE Fellowship, awarded to first-year students from underrepresented groups. The fellowship provides a $22,500 stipend, tuition and health benefits for one academic year. Graduate programs nominate prospective students who have applied for admission. Please submit your diversity statement under "Statement 2" on the ApplyYourself application if you feel you fit the guidelines outlined in the application. Visit the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education for more information.
- Extenuating Circumstances: If applicable–please see instructions in the "Applicant Statements" section of the online application.
Please note that we cannot return CDs, books, news clippings or other supplementary materials sent through the mail.